Acts 2:42-47 New King James Version
42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ [a]doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and [b]sold their possessions and goods, and divided[c] them among all, as anyone had need.
46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added [d]to the church daily those who were being saved.
I believed that the Lord is leading us to go back to the old basic set up of the early church in the book of Acts where the Christians meet from house to house in small but intimate gatherings. Let me encourage you by taking you to the book of Acts and let us see the context of the “Church without a building” but with flesh and bones empowered by the Spirit of God.
What is the “church without a building” but with flesh and bones empowered by the Spirit of God?
The Greek word for Church is,
Ekklesia, being derived from the verb ek-kaleo, “to call out or forth,” has often been interpreted as an exclusive term, connecting its etymological meaning with the Biblical doctrine that Christians are those “called out of the world by God.
Ecclesia (or Ekklesia) in Christian theology means both: a particular body of faithful people, and the whole body of the faithful.
Another meaning of the word “Church” is derived from the Greek “Kryiakon” meaning “The Lord’s House”. This sounds plausible at first, but there is just one problem. The greek word “Kryiakon” is not used in the scriptures. The greek word “Ekklesia” is.
Activities of the early Church- Acts 2:42-47
They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship.
They remembered the Lord In the breaking of bread (communion)
They prayed for one another in faith.
Many wonders and miracles done through the apostles.
They have unity and charity helping one another.
Praising and worshipping God in one accord.
We can summarize these activities into three important ministries they have done:
The ministry of the Word – preaching and teaching with fellowship, Gospel preaching and discipleship were their priority to fulfilling the commandment of Jesus. Teaching with fellowship is “intimate” discipleship. Building up good characters of the disciples must follow the model how Jesus dealt with his disciples. The love and grace they received from Jesus, they pass it on to others.
The ministry of worship and prayers– they believed that God is all they need to have, to make all things be made possible, so they pursued the teaching of Jesus to please the Father in heaven in worship and prayer of supplication.
The ministry of the table service or food distribution. (Charity) – God have concerned to the poor, destitute orphans and widows. In the Jewish culture this is integral they remember that they have been delivered from poverty and slavery in Egypt. Remember the parable of the feast of Jesus and feeding of thousands. Redemption and restoration were emphasized lessons in showing charity to others. This should be visible in the Church of the past and in present time.
Later in the process of their growth, they set up leadership orders to maintain the growth of the Church, they recognized the gifts of the Holy Spirit to each one to strengthen and edify the believers.
Our present Community Churches today are busy bodies but lacking impact to the communities. You cannot even recognized their presence except the sign board labelling the church buildings.
Early Believers in the books of Acts are very much different from what we see today, They were simple and yet powerfully influential. This is something we should think about. Let us go back to basic but most important traits of Christianity.
We cannot separate charity and the church. Love and compassion must be the most visible fruit of our true identity as a Church.
We cannot also separate power to transform and the church. This is our calling. We preach and teach the Word of God along side with this- is our message to transform lives.
We cannot separate worship and prayer to the one and only true God. Everything will cease but worship and fellowship with the Living God will remain forever throughout eternity. This is the reason and purpose of our existence to become pleasure to our Creator.
Lastly, we cannot separate our identity with Christ. We are called Christians because we are like Christ, that should be our visible character more than anything else.